In WWDC 19, Apple unveiled iOS 13 featuring the native dark mode that app developers can easily introduce to their app. Not only can users change their themes from settings, they can also change them from the control center, set them to change automatically at certain times or sync with their sunrise and sunset times. Apps like Twitter, Reddit, Apple Books, Slack, Feedly, Facebook messenger, Kindle, and other apps, especially the ones that require a lot of reading, have adopted dark mode nicely.
Dark mode saves battery on your OLED screen devices. Although many people associate dark mode with being helpful to our eyes, there is no conclusive scientific proof for that, especially regarding its long-term effects. For more information, please take a look at this entry: White on black or black on white? The pros and cons of Dark Mode
One of keynotes in the WWDC 19, Implementing Dark Mode on iOS, explained how apps should be set up to take advantage of this new OS feature. This entry picks the main notes from the keynote.
Two weeks ago, I needed to be in San Francisco for a meeting I was invited to. My flight was supposed to arrive at 3pm the day before the meeting, which would have given me more than enough buffer time for any delays. In the end, the meeting didn’t happen, and I was not in San Francisco on that day. My United flight, UA2080, wasn’t only canceled, but rather got canceled after a 13.5 hour delay. I was stuck on 2 different aircrafts, able to complete 3 different in-flight movies on the ground.
Here is the timeline of what had happened on that day… To give a sense of my emotional states, I added an emoji next to each event.
Subscription business is everywhere. For a user, it’s simply cheaper to use or experience a product without the high cost of owning it. For a company, the cost to acquire users is lower, and subscribers bring recurring revenues. For any business model, it is crucial to keep high enough average customer life-time value (LTV) to its company profit, so the business can afford to spend more cost to acquire a customer (CAC).
CAC — The cost to acquire a customer
LTV — The life-time value of a customer to a company
As I mentioned in my last post (Technologies that influenced fashion), I recently had the chance to take a small interactive fashion course, Introduction to Interactive Fashion Design by Jeremy White and James Pearce, at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In that post, I did some research on interactive fashion design precedents that inspired me.
In this entry, I would like to cover the tool that we used, MakeCode, because I was fascinated by how easily it could be used to teach programming to beginners.MakeCode by Microsoft is a web-based visual code editor for microcontrollers such as Circuit Playground by Adafruit. Adafruit was founded by a former MIT student, Limor Fried, in 2005, and the company has designed and manufactured open-source electronic hardware. On the course, we learned how to use MakeCode to program Circuit Playground. Although the video below shows how MakeCode works for micro:bit, not Circuit Playground, it demonstrates how a visual code editor can be an easy tool to grasp the fundamental programming concept.
JUST WALK OUT TECHNOLOGY– the key phrase used for Amazon’s cashier-less convenient stores, Amazon Go. These stores resemble the look of normal convenience stores, but customers don’t need to wait or scan to pay; they just have to walk out the stores with items. Amazon opened its second New York City location in June 11th, 2019. This location is the 13th amongst other locations in Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Amazon’s initiatives to apply their online experience to brick-and-mortar shops are not the new thing. Back in 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods in order to expand its fresh grocery lines and physical store footprints. Amazon has also experimented with brick-and-mortar shops like Amazon 4-star with highly reviewed and rated items from amazon.com, and Amazon Books, which was literally a physical version of amazon.com book stores (Amazon Books NYC: Does it predict the future of retail?). Although these experiments weren’t the solution for the future retail, large retail enterprises, including Amazon, have tried to reinvent the physical shopping experience to be more reachable and convenient with the use of technology.
In 2000, Hussein Chalayan, the Turkish fashion designer, exhibited a dress that transformed by remote control in his Spring/Summer show, Before Minus Now. He became famous for animatronics and interactive fashion, for instance, he also exhibited a coffee table that transformed into a skirt.
People have sought the future in fashion shows, and that has been amplified as the technology has gotten more advanced and smaller. Recently, I had the chance to take a small interactive fashion course, Introduction to Interactive Fashion Design, at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The course went over basic circuit boards with inputs and outputs, such as motion sensors, photon sensors, and LED strips, which can be applied to fashion design (MakeCode: Simple and Visual, Good First Step to Learn Programming). In the entry, I list interactive fashion designs that inspired me the most during the course.
In the last entry, I went over the basics of mutations in GraphQL- create, update, or delete data (GraphQL 2 — Mutation with Basic GraphQL). When these updates happen, the client side should also reflect these changes. To do so, there needs to be a system to notify the client side.
Subscription is a GraphQL feature that allows a server to send data to its clients when these updates happen. As the client side initiates the subscription, the server maintains a connection to its subscribed client, and it returns the updated information as a mutation takes place.
In one phrase, emoji is used by three billion people making it the most spoken and fastest-growing language in the world. Now about half of communications are done through some technology and emojis are used to add an extra layer on top of what simple words can convey — emojis are modern facial expressions, hand gestures, or depicted objects that help conduct conversations smoothly.
The above emojis are the twenty most used emojis on the internet according to Brandwatch. Emojis are not only additive elements, but rather can serve as the center of communications today. They also open up an opportunity for passive communicators to participate in conversations. According to this analytic, posts with emojis receive 47.7% more average interactions on Instagram.
In the last entry, I went over the basics of GraphQL and how to create basic relational data and run a query (GraphQL 1 — My First Steps to Querying with GraphQL). In this entry, I will focus on how to work with the mutation of data; creating, updating, and deleting data.
In GraphQL, there are two types of interactions that we can have, query or mutation. Query is used to request the information from the database and read it, as described in more detail in the last entry. For example, query can request an existing blog entry from the database and display it on a blog page. In comparison, mutation allows writers to create a new blog entry, update an existing entry, or delete the entry.
I recently came across a stunning presentation by GraphQL co-creator, Lee Byron. In his presentation, he explained the history of GraphQL, and also Facebook’s product which had a huge influence on the birth of GraphQL.
In 2007, with the release of the first iPhone, when Steve Jobs promoted it as the breakthrough internet communication device, Facebook bet on HTML5 as the software stack to invest their resources in; the web application designed for mobile browsers is the future where Facebook would reside.
However, especially in the earlier age of smartphones, platforms like Apple or Google paid more attention to native apps instead of web apps- they contributed to their revenues with in-app purchases. For a complex service like Facebook, mobile web applications had limitations in user experiences as mobile browsers were slow and buggy then. People saw Facebook’s weak mobile products as huge risks for their IPO.